|The Flatiron Building in Manhattan.|
An Iconic Symbol of New York CityThe Flatiron Building, originally (and only officially) called the Fuller Building after a real estate company that owned it, is located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1902 by Daniel H. Burnham, an architect of the Chicago school.
First, A Little History About the Flatiron Building
|The future location of the Flatiron Building at the intersection of the Bloomingdale Road and the Eastern Post Road (1815 Blue Book of Farms via the New York Public Library Digital Collection).|
|A dramatic illustration of 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, where the Flatiron Building would soon stand. From here you can see the taller Cumberland building which would be used for billboards.|
|I like this shot because of the photographer shown in the lower right corner. The Heinz kept changing, too.|
The Great Building Arrives
Under construction 1901|
Many professional photographers were located nearby (note, for instance, the signs in some of the shots).
|1902. The horse still rules the road.|
|Flatiron 1902, just completed.|
|Colonel Donovan and staff of 165th Infantry, passing under the Victory Arch on 23rd Street and Broadway across from the Flatiron Building. The Arch was removed soon after. 1919. (by The U.S. National Archives, via Flickr)|
Around the time of World War I, the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue was one of the city's great centers. The victory parade for World War I focused on the square, which is so massive that they were able to erect temporary columns and a wooden victory arch as in Roman days which the marchers could pass through.
|Flatiron, 1920s? That appears to be a recruiting center with guns sticking out.|
It sits on 23rd Street at the base of Madison Square Park, which used to be a much bigger deal than it is today. The park and surrounding area have revived recently and the Flatiron District has been "hot" in real estate circles.
Compare the Stieglitz photo from 1903 from the recent one below.
|Flatiron on February 3, 2014.|
|Flatiron, 1903. Brand new. This is a standard location for shots of it, as we will see. All horses and buggies.|
|Flatiron, 1905, winter. Nice shot of the streetcar, with the stop just kind of 'there' in the middle of the intersection. Imagine that now!|
The Flatiron is one of those buildings that will catch your eye even if you've walked past it a hundred times - which I have.
|Flatiron around 1918, wintertime. Still looks uncannily like this.|
|1905, a slightly different angle. This picture is a bit more romantic, I think.|
|This is a colorized version of a shot taken right around the time the Flatiron building was built.|
|You can't make this photo with the shadow today. From Rudy Burkhardt, circa 1940|
|Flatiron Building circa 1950. Nice double-decker Fifth Avenue bus.|
|Gotham at night. This looks like it came out of a Batman movie. Look toward 2 o'clock and you see the Washington Square Arch. I feel as though I should have a martini in hand and Sinatra on the player with romantic shots of this sort.|
We don't spend a lot of time looking up at it except when walking down 5th Avenue towards it.
The most interesting aspect of the intersection is Madison Square, which opens up and provides some relief from the walls of stone and metal much like Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street. But it is somehow comforting that the Flatiron is always there, unchanging, providing a visual reference point where Broadway and 5th intersect. It turns an otherwise nondescript and unremarkable intersection into something iconic.
Probably pretty cool to work in there. Some of the offices must have interesting shapes.
|Flatiron Building by Emilio J Santacoloma. This is in pretty much the same line as the one above from 1905, though a bit closer perhaps.|
|Fifth Avenue branches off to the right, Broadway to the left - which has been branded as "Silicon Alley"|
|The view hasn't changed much at all since this picture was taken. This may be the same as the shot above, but the lighting makes it a completely different picture.|
|Berenice Abbott's shot of the Flatiron Building from the late 1930s. It's fascinating that they had a parking lot in the middle of the intersection - parking is always a problem in the area, and it has only grown worse with time.|
|Do not know the date, but 1905 or so sounds about right|
|Stieglitz, 1903, when it was brand new.|
|Flatiron Building from the north. You can just barely see Washington Square Arch in this shot.|
|New York's "Silicon Alley" has revitalized this Flatiron neighborhood.|
|This photo was taken in September 1918. There were very few tanks in those days, this was cutting edge.|
|The view from the Flatiron Building. This was once one of NYC's most important squares. The memorial to Major General Worth is at the top, Broadway is the cross street, Madison Square to the right (unseen).|
|The iconic Flatiron Building|